The Heavens Opened

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Tuesday 20th June 2003

The weather forecast mentioned a little bit of rain in the morning which would be a relief from all the sun that we had been experiencing. I declined to take the umbrella that my wife suggested as I headed out for the 0557 train. I alighted at West Ham and it was dry. πŸ˜€ I was going to walk up to Stratford. I was going to head towards Hampstead Heath and other pastures new. Here's how the day panned out. 

There is a series of caches set by Anytar along the Northern Outfall Sewer Embankment aka The Greenway which runs south east to north west through East London. I could access it a few hundred yards north of West Ham station. I was after the mystery cache attached to the series - Bazalgette's Cathedral. Joseph Bazalgette designed and supervised the building of the sewerage system which opened in 1865. In working out the mystery, I discovered that the products of our personal sewage system are graded. πŸ₯΄ 

I got off to a poor start as I couldn't find the cache.πŸ™ Suddenly I felt a drop of rain. πŸ’§Now who can remember that scene in Saving Private Ryan when a single drop of rain fell on a leaf and then the heavens opened. Well it chucked it down and I was in the open. I decided to head to Stratford and I swiftly found the Channelsea trad whilst taking shelter. I ventured out and failed to find the Channelsea Critters trad whilst trying to dodge the deluge.☹️ I flitted from shelter to shelter until I made the safety of the Stratford Centre. I stood in the dry and worked out the answers to the 4/1 Obelisk Fountain - Stratford - D_Leslie A #30 Earthcache.

I quickly found a Costa where I had a very slow breakfast, drying out, working out weather patterns and what to do with the rest of the day. I decided to head up to Walthamstow and noted that there was a much needed mystery up there. I proceeded to work out Postcode cache ~ E17, based on the pop group E17, just in case, for later.

I headed for the bus station and asked the information bureau for the bus to Walthamstow. A 93 or a 268 was the reply. A 93 arrived and I got on. It broke down 400 yards up the road at a bus stop.🀬 There was no shelter.🀯 The 268 didn't stop here.🀯🀯 I jumped the next bus which took me up to Leyton. There was a recently published ST here so that was the obvious next port of call. Now it was dry here so the broken down 93 had done me a favour.πŸ˜€ The search area for the ST was a bit of a dumping ground.πŸ₯΄ There were about twenty loaves of bread scattered on the ground. This is definitely not a place to visit at night, god knows what vermin is attracted here.πŸ€”

I carried on, walking alongside the noisy A12 collecting a few trads until I reached Leytonstone Tube station. Unfortunately there wasn't a ST here but luckily a CM ~ Leytonstone trad took the pain away.πŸ™„ I headed back under the tube line and over to the Anytar are you Happy Now trad. I was keen to see what this tribute to Anita was but I just couldn't find it. After ten minutes I gave up and took off towards Wanstead for The High Stone EC. I pondered the questions for a while and when I had enough info to answer the COs questions, I popped up the road to the ANPR trad. I understood what the ANPR was but it was a bit disconcerting seeing all the cars' registration details flashing up on the screen.πŸ€”

I cut across the very damp, what I presumed was Wanstead Flats until I reached the Hollow Ponds 2 trad. This was an easy find but I learnt that Hollow Ponds 1 had been disabled as a Moorhen was nesting on the cache.🀫 Just around the corner was the easy CM Leytonstone ~ St Andrew trad. Now all that was left in the area was the newish Don't Take A Fence ! trad near Whipps Cross Hospital. After about ten minutes searching in the damp undergrowth, I discovered that the cache had been replaced too high. My hands were wet and covered in dirt but I finally reached the cache.πŸ˜€

I received a message from caskhunter giving an extra hint on the Anytar trad and a meet up if I was still in the area. I decided to take him up on the offer and walked about a mile back via the AST: Northumberland trad. I have no idea what this was all about but it was a quick find.πŸ˜€ I texted caskhunter and told him that I was four hundred yards away. I arrived in the search area before him and had found the well hidden cache before he arrived. David and I had a chat for about ten minutes before we parted company.

Down the bottom of the road, I had noticed a bus stop with buses heading towards Walthamstow so I stepped it out quickly and luckily one came along almost right away. The route went through the HospitalπŸ₯΄ and I got off in the Lea Bridge Road. I walked through the streets to The Garden of Eden trad. After an easy find, I came to a very old part of town with timbered buildings and even an original VR Penfold letterbox.πŸ˜€ I was after the Walthamstow - Iconic Capital multi. I was very surprised to find that the subject was a column from the original General Post Office building was was situated near St Paul's Cathedral until it was demolished in 1912.πŸ€”

With the multi sorted, I set off for the E17 mystery that I had solved in Costa's earlier on. I ticked off another date in my 365 mystery calendar and then had to literally walk around the house to get to Walthamstow Town Hall. There was a trad here whose hint made sense once I got near to it. Standing in front of the building, I had a burst of deja vu. I had been here before for a gig by Country Joe & The Fish, a Californian pyschedelic rock band. It turns out that this was in March 1969.🀯🀯 I'm a lot closer to their Fixin'-to-Die song now than I was way back then.☹️

I was walking down to Lloyds Park to do the AL series based on William Morris when I spotted an example of Invader art high up on the wall of The Bell pub. Invader is an anonymous French street artist best known for pixelated mosaics clandestinely placed on buildings in cities around the world that he visited. Some of you remember the archived Knatts Valley Invader series of mysteries set by jazzyjessups down in Kent. I was the last one to do the series, collecting the containers on behalf of the CO.πŸ˜€

I did the AL series and had lunch in the museum cafe before trekking back to Hoe Street. It was hard work getting up the hill in the heat but I captured three trads on the way - Wathamstow ~ Central Parade, ST Walthamstow Central and CM Walthamstow ~ Baptist. I also spotted some vintage advertising too. πŸ˜€ My time was done here but I wanted to get down to Homerton for another EC. On checking bus routes, I could see that one stopped next to Mabley Green so I jumped that one and sat for fifteen minutes whilst it trundled down there. I sorted out the Mabley Green Boulder EC based on xenoliths and headed back to the bus stop. 

I was going down to Bow for a few more caches but I made a fundamental error.🀬 I got on the right bus going in the wrong direction.🀬🀬 When I realised that I was going to Clapton, I jumped off but I had lost a lot of time. I couldn't even get a cab to stop so I just to wait for the bus. It seemed ages for that bus to crawl through the afternoon traffic but it eventually took me down to Bow Bus Garage. This was a few hundred yards past the Bryant & May Matchstick Factory trad for what turned out to be my last cache of the day.πŸ₯΄ The infamous factory is still there converted into apartments. Just thinking about it, I have a box of their Lucifers somewhere.πŸ€”

1 Multi 1 Mystery 3 Earthcache 5 AdLab 17 Traditional


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